The Blackout were a post-hardcore band from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, formed in 2003. After some time backing Lostprophets on their Liberation Transmission Tour, along with Dopamine, Covergirl, Kids in Glass Houses, The Guns and Men, Women & Children, they released their EP The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!. In October 2007 the band released their debut album, We Are the Dynamite. Their second record, The Best in Town was released on 25 May 2009 in Europe and 23 June 2009 in the US, both via Epitaph Records. The band's third album - titled Hope, was released on 4 April 2011, and charted at number 27 in the UK album chart. Their fourth studio album, titled Start the Party, was released on 21 January 2013. The Blackout's final release was a five track EP entitled Wolves, with their farewell tour held in early 2015, finishing in their hometown of Merthyr Tydfil on Saturday 28 March 2015.
Formation and early years (2003–2006)
The band formed in 2003 "out of boredom", originally called Ten Minute Preview; however after deciding to ditch this name they renamed themselves The Blackout, taken from a T-shirt saying "I survived the blackout" referring to the New York City blackout of 1977. Having performed with the likes of fellow Welsh bands, including Funeral for a Friend, Kids in Glass Houses, The Automatic and Lostprophets, as well as Reuben, Fightstar, and other big name bands The Blackout released their EP The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout! on 23 October 2006 through Fierce Panda Records, this led to Kerrang! nominating The Blackout for Best British Newcomer. Across late November and December 2006 The Blackout accompanied Lostprophets on their UK headling tour alongside Bring Me the Horizon. The Blackout were noted for their comical use of Christmas attire.
We Are the Dynamite (2007–2008)
Under a year later The Blackout released their debut album: We Are the Dynamite, on 1 October 2007 through Fierce Panda Records. The first single taken from it is entitled "The Beijing Cocktail" and was released on 24 September 2007. We Are the Dynamite is the fastest selling album ever released on Fierce Panda. To coincide with the band's debut album release they announced a 14-date headline UK tour with Flood of Red and Pierce the Veil followed by joining the Taste of Chaos tour across Europe in November 2007, replacing Escape the Fate and playing alongside The Used, Rise Against, Aiden and Gallows.
The second single released from the album We Are the Dynamite was "It's High Tide Baby!" (which features Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins) and was released via Fierce Panda on 11 February 2008. However, due to a pressing error, the A side of this single ended up being "The Beijing Cocktail" instead of "It's High Tide Baby!". After further touring across the United Kingdom and Europe, April 2008 saw The Blackout's first jaunt to USA with a short tour of the midwest supporting blessthefall ending at Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey. In May, the band played at the Give It a Name festival for the second time, this time playing on the main stage alongside acts such as Silverstein, Billy Talent and Glassjaw. They also brought along entertainment team The Fuel Girls to support their stage presence. The Blackout also supported Story of the Year on their UK The Black Swan tour, both bands finished off the tour by playing Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds, UK. 8 September brought The Blackout's first visit to Japan playing a short 4 date stop with Alesana. On returning from Japan, The Blackout got straight on a bus to mainland Europe to tour with fellow Welshmen Attack! Attack! then returning to the UK where they were supported by The Medic Droid, We Are the Ocean and From First to Last. This tour saw The Blackout become only the third unsigned band ever to sell out the London Astoria. The previous bands being The Darkness and Enter Shikari respectively.
The Best in Town (2009)
In 2008 the band split with record label Fierce Panda, scrapping plans to release another two singles from We Are the Dynamite and "I Love Myself and I Wanna Live", this ultimately led to the band being signed to Epitaph Records in February 2009. After finishing up touring in 2008 the band began recording their second album, The Best in Town with A vocalist, Jason Perry at Sonic Ranch, El Paso, Texas. The rest of the vocal tracking was completed in Southend on Sea in early January. In March 2009 the band set out to LA to film a music video for their first single from The Best in Town, "Children of the Night" and for their second single, "Saves Our Selves", as well as meeting with record Label Epitaph, who are based in the US. The first single from The Best in Town, "Children of the Night", was released on 18 May. To promote this album, the band toured with The Urgency, Hollywood Undead and Silverstein, before playing at the Download Festival, where they ended up playing twice due to The Ghost of a Thousand pulling out at the last minute. They played at the Hevy Music Festival on 1 August 2009 and headlined Butserfest on 12 September playing alongside Go:Audio, We Are the Ocean and Attack! Attack!. In January and February 2010 the band played the Kerrang! Relentless Energy Drink Tour alongside My Passion, Young Guns and All Time Low. Having performed backing vocals on You Me at Six's 2010 album Hold Me Down, Sean Smith appeared on stage with You Me at Six, at Newport Centre on 10 March 2010, and at Brixton Academy on 20 March 2010, with Gavin Butler, during the performance of "The Consequence", both times receiving an enthusiastic reception. In June 2010, the band were confirmed to support Paramore on their one off show in Belfast in Northern Ireland. Frontwoman of the band Hayley Williams said that it was an honour to have the band that they supported in 2006 on the Give It a Name Festival supporting them on their headline show. The band also toured Europe with Limp Bizkit in Autumn 2010, fulfilling an ambition for the band, who cite Limp Bizkit as a major influence.
On 28 September 2010, frontman Sean Smith announced that the band was heading to the studio in preparation to record their third studio album. They finished writing the songs on 11 November 2010. On 26 November 2010, the band posted a tweet on their Twitter account, stating that the album is "all wrapped up & done recording" and that the record would be mixed the following week. It had been claimed that Smith, the band's co-vocalist, had stated that the upcoming record to be titled "Dog Porn", but later stressed the fact that "it was all but a joke".
On 12 January 2011, Kerrang! announced the title of the third studio album would be Hope. Smith also stated, "there's the wide-eyed hope and the negative, almost desperate meaning of the word (hope), too. The word has appeared a lot in the lyrics. The songs are also a little darker than the ones on our previous record, The Best in Town." Hope was released on 4 April 2011. On 13 January 2011, the band announced on their Twitter account that they would be making an exclusive track called "Ambition Is Critical" available for free download on the band's official site, on 24 January.
The Blackout supported My Chemical Romance on their World Contamination Tour along with LostAlone in February 2011. On 1 March 2011, The Blackout released the video for Higher and Higher. On 21 March 2011, it was announced that The Blackout would play the main stage at the 2011 Reading and Leeds Festivals. On 30 March 2011, The Blackout started touring the Hope album with support from Texan Rock Rapper Hyro Da Hero (who appears on their track "Higher and Higher") as well as Michigan pop-punk band The Swellers. This was followed by a European tour supporting Funeral for a Friend and a headline appearance at Liverpool's Hub Festival. Following their appearance at Reading and Leeds Festival, the band closed the inaugural Merthyr Rock festival on 4 September, which took place in their hometown of Merthyr Tydfil. This was followed by a UK and European headline tour, their biggest to date, throughout October and November, with support from We Are the Ocean, Canterbury and Red Bull Bedroom Jam 2011 winners Page 44.
On 20 January 2012, it was announced that The Blackout would be becoming one of the headlining acts on Kerrang! Tour, alongside New Found Glory, throughout February. This replacement was because of Sum 41's frontman Deryck Whibley having a severe back injury. The band entered the studio once more with Jason Perry in May 2012 to record their fourth studio album. The band took a break from the recording process to play the Slam Dunk Festival on the main stage, supporting Taking Back Sunday. On Thursday 7 June, the band appeared at the annual Kerrang! Awards, with frontman Sean Smith having been nominated for 'Tweeter of the Year'. While he lost out on the award, the band picked up the Devotion Award, voted by the magazine's staff. In July 2012, The Blackout are to support Blink-182 on four dates of the European leg of their 20th Anniversary Tour. The band were also announced to play the T in the Park and Reading and Leeds Festivals in the summer of 2012.
Start the Party (2012–2014)
On 24 August 2012, The Blackout performed "Start the Party", their first single from the album of the same name for the first time at the Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent, a warm-up gig for Reading Festival . On 17 September 2012, after a countdown on their official website, the first track, "Start the Party" from the album of the same name aired for the first time on Zane Lowe's show on BBC Radio 1. This coincided with the announcement of the album's title and release date (21 January 2013), a supporting tour in January and the title track's music video. "Start the Party" was also available for free download on the band's website. On 22 November 2012, the band's second single from their fourth album "Running Scared" was aired for the first time on Zane Lowe's show on BBC Radio 1. Both music videos for "Start the Party" and "Running Scared" were filmed in Ibiza, Spain. In April 2013, the band released "Radio" as the third single from the album.
On Saturday 7 March 2015 the band played their last festival date at Takedown Festival, Southampton.
- Gavin Butler – clean vocals (2003–2015)
- James "Bob" Davies – guitar, backing vocals (2003–2015)
- Matthew Davies – guitar, backing vocals (2003–2015)
- Gareth "Snoz" Lawrence – drums, percussion (2003–2015)
- Rhys Lewis – bass guitar (2003–2015)
- Sean Smith – clean vocals, unclean vocals (2003–2015)
|UK Album Chart|
|2007||We Are the Dynamite||93|
|2009||The Best in Town||38|
|2013||Start the Party||35|
|2004||Pull No Punches|
|2006||The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!|
|UK Singles Chart||UK Rock Chart||UK Indie Chart|
|2007||"Hard Slammin'"||-||8||-||The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!|
|"The Beijing Cocktail"||90||-||4||We Are the Dynamite|
|2008||"It's High Tide Baby!"||-||-||-|
|2009||"Children of the Night"||128||1||1||The Best in Town|
|"Save Our Selves (The Warning)"||189||1||1|
|"I Don't Care (This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things)"||107||7||-|
|2011||"Higher & Higher"||171||2||28||Hope|
|"Never by Your Side"||-||-||-|
|"You're Not Alone"||-||-||-|
|2012||"Start the Party"||-||-||-||Start the Party|
- "My Generation" (Limp Bizkit cover) on Kerrang's compilation Higher Voltage.
- "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" (Live Faith No More cover) released as a B-side to "The Beijing Cocktail".
- "I Kissed a Girl" (Katy Perry cover) released as a B-side on the "Children of the Night" CD
- "Pastor of Muppets" released as a B-side on the "Children of the Night" vinyl
- "Lapdance" (N*E*R*D cover, the band recorded a studio version of the song to be released on the "Children of the Night" single but it was not approved by the original artist, however the band have played it live)
- "Wanted Dead or Alive" (Live Bon Jovi cover)
- "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" (Beastie Boys cover) released on the 2-disc special edition of Hope
- "Party Hard" (Andrew W.K. cover) released on the 2-disc special edition of Hope
- "Lump" (The Presidents of the United States of America cover) released on the 2-disc special edition of Hope
- "Save Tonight" (Eagle-Eye Cherry cover) released on the 2-disc special edition of Hope
- "Stay Away" (Nirvana Cover) released on Kerrang's "Kerrang! Presents Nirvana Nevermind Forever".
- "Boom! Shake the Room" (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince cover) released on Start The Party album.
- "Sorry for Party Rocking" (LMFAO cover) released on Start The Party album.
- "Super Freak" (Rick James cover) released on Start The Party album.
- The Beijing Cocktail
- It's High Tide Baby!
- Children of the Night
- Save Our Selves (The Warning)
- I Don't Care (This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things)
- Ambition is Critical
- Higher and Higher
- Never by Your Side
- The Storm
- You're Not Alone
- Start the Party
- Running Scared
- Take Away The Misery
- The Blackout were nominated for the Kerrang! British Newcomer award, and also played the Kerrang! New Breed launch show.
- In December 2006, The Blackout won best new Welsh act at the Pop Factory awards held in the Coal Exchange in Cardiff bay. The awards ceremony was televised on ITV1 Wales.
- The Blackout won Best Unsigned Band in Kerrang! magazine's Readers Poll 2008.
- Sean Smith came third in "Sexiest Male" category in the 2008 Reader's Poll for Kerrang! Magazine.
- "Save Ourselves (The Warning)" was nominated for the Best Single award at the Kerrang! Awards 2010.
- They were nominated for three Kerrang! Awards in 2011; Best Video for Higher & Higher, Best Album for Hope, and Best British Band.
- Sean Smith was nominated for 'Tweeter of the Year' at the 2012 Kerrang! Awards but lost to Hayley Williams of Paramore.
- The Blackout won the Devotion award at the 2012 Kerrang! Awards.